This week, Ben Kickz interviewed Jeff Staple on choice topics – most notably the ongoing lawsuit between Nike & Warren Lotas. Careful not to give too much away (as the case is still ongoing), Staple mentioned he saw both sides’ perspective. Mentioning the origin of his recognized brand, Staple mentions his belief that “DIY bootleg culture is where true creativity happens”.
Staple highlights that brands always push culture forward, and regardless there are going to be people uncomfortable by this shift. To that point, he discusses the BAPESTA & design progression, comparing bespoke artists The Shoe Surgeon & SBTG to Nike. Linking Nike’s creation to WL’s iterations, he mentions how they both came from similar backgrounds in supplying unmet demand. WL stepped in to supply fans where Nike didn’t, Staple claiming Nike did the same to Onitsuka Tiger (ASICS). There may be a difference when it comes to the role Nike played in adapting & evolving the footwear industry – but we’ll leave that debate to the lawyers.
Jeff has some points when considering the intricacies of things, though it also indicates the lawsuit’s dual potential. It seems that Nike’s main issue with WL (compared to The Shoe Surgeon & SBTG) is that he changed their swoosh, without making other notable changes to the shoe. Clearly their claims go much further, making us wonder if they aim to dissuade others from following Lotas’ steps. Will this moment become yet another historic moment in sneaker history for years to come?
Peep the full interview, linked below, and let us know what you think. Stay up to date with Nice Kicks and keep your eyes peeled for the latest developments in this case.